The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the nation’s external reserves currently stand at $46 billion.
Latest figures obtained from the apex bank indicate that the reserves grew by about $3.2 billion between February and March 2018.
The reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3 billion, then rose to $42.8 in February before hitting the new high of $46 billion as at the close of work on Friday, March 9.
Confirming the figures, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, attributed the continued growth to the country’s reserves to the Bank’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import bill; inflow from oil and non-oil exports, as well as the huge inflows through the investors and exporters window of the foreign exchange market, which had attracted over $33 billion since April 2017, when it was created.
At the close of commodities trading on Friday, March 9, Brent Crude sold at $65.49 a barrel, up by 2.54 per cent.
According to him, the Bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window had also helped to moderate the pressure on the FOREX reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.
Okorafor also noted that the CBN policy restricting access to FOREX from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves and boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers.